Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ersatz Escapades

I was paging through the hefty tome known as Topps Baseball Cards The Complete Picture Collection the other day--you know, the one that shows all the regular issue Topps baseball cards that went through a  couple of editions in the late 80's an early 90's:

While I was on the page that starts with #289, Tommy Holmes, I noticed something odd.  Holmes's nameplate and signature block had a decided gray cast to it.  Here, see for your self, first in a side by side look with two other cards from the same page and then in an extreme closeup:

Look how gray the Holmes is compared to Astroth.  You can also see the moire pattern that fills the Holmes nameplate wheres the Astroth is pure white.  Holmes is one of the five players that elected to not be reprinted in 1983 when Topps put out their first reprint set. After the light bulb went off I checked the other four cards of these no shows and sure enough they all have gray nameplates.  Here is #20 and #22, Billy Loes and Dom DiMaggio, surrounded by some other cards:

Saul Rogovin at #159 also is a graybeard:

And to complete the theme, so is #196 Solly Hemus:

It's a little hard to see, depending upon your device but ol' Solly is Gray in the nameplate all right.

It's obvious what occurred once you look at them all; Topps used cards from the 1983 reprint set in producing the book!  Those sneaky so-and-so's didn't use real cards from 1952 for a major book showcasing their best known work product over a span of 40 years!

I guess I shouldn't be surprised....stay tuned for another look at some oddities from this book soon.

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